High radon areas and lung cancer prevalence: evidence from Ireland

January 2, 2018 | Journal Article

journal article front cover Authors: Seraphim Dempsey , Seán Lyons , Anne Nolan
Journal of Environmental Radioactivity , Vol. 182, February 2018, pp. 12–19

This paper examined the relationship between radon risk and lung cancer prevalence using a novel dataset combining spatially-coded survey data with a radon risk map. A logit model was employed to test for significant associations between a high risk of indoor radon and lung cancer prevalence using data on 5590 people aged 50+ from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) and radon risk data from Ireland’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The use of data at the individual level allowed a wide range of potentially confounding factors (such as smoking) to be included. Results indicate that those who lived in an area in which 10%–20% of households were above the national reference level (200 Bq/m3) were 2.9–3.1 times more likely to report a lung cancer diagnosis relative to those who lived in areas in which less than 1% of households were above the national reference level.

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